Radiology’s Mark Griswold earns medical school’s top honor

Dean Davis and Mark Griswold with Case Western Reserve Medal of Excellence in Health Science Innovation
Dean Davis and Mark Griswold after the awarding of the medal.

Throughout his career, radiology professor Mark Griswold, PhD, has earned accolades for research and innovations in the field of imaging. Among many other breakthroughs, Griswold has contributed toward developing a robotically guided heart catheter and magnetic resonance fingerprinting—a technology that recognizes distinct patterns of diseases that would allow early identification of a broad range of devastating diseases such as specific cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and more.

This week, Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine awarded Griswold one of its highest honors to recognize his extraordinary dedication and accomplishments. He is the 2014 recipient of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine Medal for Excellence in Health Science Innovation.

School of Medicine Dean Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, presented Griswold the medal last night during a ceremony at the school’s annual Dialogue on Discovery event held at the Global Center for Health Innovation.

Davis praised Griswold for his commitment to collaboration as the school’s director of MRI research. When the Center for Imaging Research opened in 2004, she explained, the goal was to integrate all imaging specialties. The partnerships that spurred out of the center, however, were more than imagined.

“Mark is the embodiment of this atmosphere: a mix of intelligence, vision, optimism, passion and integrity that serves as a catalyst for collaboration and innovation,” Davis said.

Griswold came to Case Western Reserve in 2005 as an associate professor of radiology; the following year, he became director of MRI research, and he later added appointments in biomedical engineering, physics and electrical engineering and computer science to his résumé. In 2012, he became a full professor.

During his time at Case Western Reserve, Griswold has developed strong partnerships across the university on research projects such as:

  • designing optimal systems to support new imaging techniques, through a $3.5 million grant with engineering’s Ken Loparo;
  • creating a robotically guided heart catheter, through a $1.5 million grant with electrical engineering’s Cenk Cavusoglu and biomedical engineering’s Nicole Sieberlich;
  • finding out how MRI can advance discoveries in multiple sclerosis, as part of a Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Clinic team; and
  • discovering ways to detect early-stage cancers, as part of a team led by Suzann Brady-Kalnay and through a $1.9 million National Cancer Institute grant.

He also was integral in helping the university upgrade campus computing to a 100-gigabit connection so researchers can transfer large volumes of data more easily.

Griswold earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of Illinois­–Urbana-Champaign and a doctorate in physics at University of Wurzburg in Germany.

The Case Western Reserve School of Medicine Medal for Excellence in Health Science Innovation is the highest honor the medical school bestows. It is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves for efforts that advance research, education and care in extraordinary ways.

This marks the fourth awarding of the medal. Previous recipients were:

  • 2013: Michael W. Konstan, the Gertrude Lee Chandler Tucker Professor of Pediatrics and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at School of Medicine and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and Robert C. Stern, professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital
  • 2012: Distinguished University Professor Stan Gerson, MD, the Asa & Patricia Shiverick and Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology at Case Western Reserve and director of the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and the National Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
  • 2011: Richard Rudick, a former professor of medicine in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, the Hazel Prior Hostetler Endowed Chair at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute, director of the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research and vice chairman of research and development in the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic.